We recently went all out to celebrate Anthony’s big 4-0 with an over the top extravagant weekend in Macau– an autonomous region in China (no visa needed) known as the Vegas of Asia. My goal was to fete him 007 style (a fictionalized casino in Macau was featured a few years ago in Skyfall), and it was definitely a success. This was one of those once in a lifetime experiences for us, and honestly well worth it. If you too are looking to celebrate a special occasion in Macau sometime soon, here are our best tips for doing it right.
ARRIVE IN STYLE
You could arrive in Macau via the speedy turbo jet ferry, but if you’re going all out you should definitely take a Sky Shuttle Helicopter from Hong Kong to Macau (also leaving from and arriving at the respective ferry terminals). There’s a great lounge waiting area once you’ve checked in, where you can enjoy free snacks and beverages before getting an epic bird’s eye view of Hong Kong and Macau as you fly overhead. My only complaint is that I wish the flight lasted longer than fifteen minutes. They only allow you 7kg of free checked luggage (they don’t count purses or small backpacks that you can hold in your lap), and charge out the nose for every additional kg after that so it may be worth leaving a suitcase waiting in Hong Kong.
Check into the Spa Sanctuary Suite at the Banyan Tree Macau for unlimited massages in your own private spa in your room, all included in the room rate. Over the course of two days, we enjoyed three massages varying in length from one to two hours. They will also pamper you with extras like a free limo transfer from the ferry terminal, and running a fragrant bath as part of the turn down service. In fact, there were three separate baths in the suite– one in the actual bathroom, a hot relaxation pool (pictured above), and a tub with jets practically big enough for four in the spa area.
Eat dinner at the Robuchon au Dome, Joel Robuchon’s three star Michelin outpost in Macau, located at the top of the Grand Lisboa hotel with an impressive view of the city and widely considered to be the best restaurants in Macau.
We chose to eat off the a la carte menu, starting with two delicious signature dishes as appetizers, the L’Œuf de Poule– a sumptuous soft boiled egg with a perfectly crisp outer coating topped with a generous dollop of Impérial caviar, as well as La Langoustine– delicate langoustine ravioli topped with a foie gras foam and shaved black truffles.
But the true star of the night was La Boeuf– the beef for two, a chateaubriand and foie gras “Rossini” style, presented in an elegant box with fragrant smoke and cut table side as seen above, truly melt in your mouth amazing. We also recommend getting the dessert cart option for dessert– they bring it by the table like something out of Harry Potter.
GAMBLE THE NIGHT AWAY
The Wynn Hotel is far and away the best casino in Macau. Not only is it the casino floor most elegant with the best trained staff and dealers, but it is also the best suited for Westerners as many of the other casinos in Macau were about 90% baccarat tables. Unlike Vegas, no smoking is allowed on the casino floors in Macau which will probably come as good news for many, but those who do indulge, the Wynn does have a small separate gaming floor where smoking is allowed. There also isn’t the same free flow of alcohol in Macau casinos that you might have come to expect, but they will bring you free or very inexpensive drinks if you make the effort to ask for them. The Wynn features the best poker room in all of Macau with daily cash games- the minimum buy in is about $200.
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Carina Covella is a writer and currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Love Dogs, detailing her six month transformational journey from Hollywood through India. Carina graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University cum laude with a degree in Art History. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music through the university exchange programs. Until recently she lived in Mill Valley, California with her wonderful Welsh boyfriend Anthony in a house nestled in the trees, but now they’re off on a two year adventure around the world. When she’s not writing or traveling, she loves to cook for her friends and family.